Call it the Acadia Triple Crown: Join the free year-long virtual Acadia Centennial Trek to celebrate the park, do a real-life race to raise funds or give back to community in other ways, and reward yourself with a special medal.
Or maybe create your own family or friends Summer Olympics with an event or activity that everyone, from toddler to grandparent, can participate in, give to a cause, and make everyone a winner with an Acadia Centennial medal of their own.
The officially licensed medal, featuring the Acadia Centennial logo set in a bright silver wreath, is assembled and mostly made in the USA by Ashworth Awards, the same company that has made the medals for the Boston Marathon and the Mount Desert Island Marathon and Half Marathon. (The ribbon comes from overseas.)
We designed the medal as part of our sponsorship of the virtual 100-mile Acadia Centennial Trek, hosted on Racery.com, to celebrate the trails of Acadia, and help raise funds for the park. At least 5% of gross proceeds from the sale of the medal go to support the park. The medal just became available on the Acadia on My Mind Shop, and has been submitted to the official Acadia Centennial Web site’s merchandise section.
As an Acadia Centennial Partner, we wanted to broaden the meaning of community and deepen the appreciation of Acadia throughout the year. So instead of limiting the Acadia Centennial Trek Medal only to participants in the Trek, we came up with the idea of the Acadia Triple Crown and teaming up with other Centennial Partners and local groups. (In reality, you can purchase the medal simply to express your appreciation and support of the park without doing anything else – but it’s more fun to earn the medal as part of a real-life fitness challenge or community effort!)
Among the Acadia Centennial Partners and local groups we’re formally or informally teaming up with, and the possible ways you can earn an Acadia Triple Crown:
Ways to give back and earn the Acadia Triple Crown and medal
Friends of Acadia – Give back on National Trails Day, 8:30 a.m. Saturday, June 4, by volunteering to help maintain some of Acadia’s many trails and carriage roads. A special treat this Centennial year: A reading by Acadia’s first poet laureate, Christian Barter, who also happens to be a member of the Acadia trail crew. “It’s going to be a great day,” said Paige Steele, Friends of Acadia conservation project manager. Register for the volunteer opportunity online, and meet at the Park Headquarters on ME 233. There will be juice and pastries, and the poetry reading at the start, before volunteers are sent off to their assignments. Transportation will be provided, but there will also be an assignment within walking distance for volunteers who can’t commit for 4 hours. National Trails Day is a special event not only for the park, Steele said. “People from all over the country go into their communities and work on trails.” If you don’t happen to be visiting the park on National Trails Day, don’t worry. The Friends of Acadia and the park have drop-in volunteer hours from June through Columbus Day, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. For all you virtual Acadia Centennial Trekkers who might be volunteering on National Trails Day and would like to meet fellow Trekkers in real life, maybe we can self-identify by wearing the Acadia Centennial Trek medal! Place your order for the medal by Friday, May 27, and it should arrive by US mail in time. Every 30 minutes of volunteering on the trails of Acadia counts as 1 mile on the 100-mile Acadia Centennial Trek, says the virtual race director. A great way to give back to the trails that have given so much, and earn the Acadia Triple Crown while you’re at it.
- Ellsworth Public Library – Sign up for the My Way 5K, 9 a.m. Sunday, June 12, to raise
funds for the library’s building and restoration fund, and let those 3.1 miles count toward the virtual 100-mile Acadia Centennial Trek! Sign up by May 31 to get a free T-shirt. There’s also same-day registration. Free ice cream, sorbet shooters and kids’ books on the day of the event. Abby Morrow of the library’s My Way 5K committee reached out to us after joining the virtual Acadia Centennial Trek herself, asking for help in getting the word out about the real-life fundraising race. “We would love to share this opportunity to log 3.1 miles!” she wrote in an e-mail. We’ll be sending along postcards about the virtual Acadia Centennial Trek and optional finisher’s medal to Abby, for insertion into My Way 5K racers’ goodie bags. Last year, the library raised more than $10,000 from about 185 participants. A worthy cause to count toward the Acadia Triple Crown.
- MDI YMCA – As an Acadia Centennial Partner, the Y is linking its 2 major fundraising races, the Acadia Half Marathon on June 5 and Fall Half Marathon on Sept. 17, to the history of
Mount Desert Island. With help from another Centennial Partner, the MDI Historical Society, the Y will be including in runners’ goodie bags a one page “Run Through History!” orientation to Acadia. While we haven’t formally teamed up with the Y, we’ve included part of the routes of both half marathons in the 100-mile virtual Acadia Centennial Trek, and signed up to run the Acadia Half Marathon to help support the Y, as we did a couple of years ago. While the June 5 Half is near or at capacity (2 spots left last time we checked), the related 10K has about 350 spots remaining. Registration closes June 2. Help the Y, make those 13.1 miles or 6.2 miles count toward the virtual Acadia Centennial Trek, and you’re on the way to the Acadia Triple Crown.
- Crow Athletics – Both Crow Athletics and one of its races, MDI Marathon, have applied to
be Acadia Centennial Partners. We’ve incorporated part of the club’s MDI Marathon and Half Marathon routes into the Acadia Centennial Trek, and even borrowed those races’ real-life finishing line for the end of our virtual 100-mile route. Here are some of the upcoming Crow-hosted races that do a lot for community, and can also count toward the 100-mile virtual Trek, Acadia Centennial Trek Medal and Acadia Triple Crown: The Great Run on Great Cranberry Island, Saturday, June 18; July 4th Relay, Monday, July 4; Down East Sunrise Trail Relay, Friday, July 22, through Saturday, July 23; MDI Marathon and Half Marathon, Sunday, Oct. 16; and Millinocket Marathon and Half Marathon, Saturday, Dec. 10. Imagine what a collection of bling you would have if you ran all of Crow Athletics’ races and earned the Acadia Centennial Trek medal as well. That would make for a murder of Crows with a killer collection of medals!
Customize your Acadia Centennial Trek Medal event, post a photo
Those are just some ideas for ways to earn the Acadia Triple Crown and Acadia Centennial Trek Medal, but in reality, you can create whatever parameters you want yourself.
We have family visiting from England and New York this summer. They’ll be on too tight a schedule to visit Acadia. So we’re thinking of hosting an Acadia on My Mind Summer Olympics that can feature such events as tennis; badminton; croquet; golf; billiards; stand-up paddleboarding; sandcastle building; gazebo and stone tower sashay; pickleball; indoor rock-climbing; hiking; running; Monopoly: National Parks Edition and other games or puzzles with an Acadia or National Park theme. (NOTE: See sidebar about Amazon.com iinks in this blog)
Every participant gets an Acadia Centennial Trek medal, from Miranda, 5; Jenna, 6; Sebastian, 8; all the way to April, age 76. And we’ll make a special donation to help support the Friends of Acadia in the family’s name.
How will you customize the Acadia Triple Crown? Let us know the ways!
If you want to join the more than 200 people who have already signed up for the free Acadia Centennial Trek – some from as far away as Scotland – you have until Dec. 31 to finish the 100-mile route. From the drop-down menu under “Runners,” scroll down to the bottom and enter your e-mail.
So far, more than 100 participants have completed the inaugural race, whether they ran, hiked or walked the virtual route that goes over all 26 peaks of Acadia, starting on the top of Cadillac and ending at the real-life finishing line of the MDI Marathon and Half Marathon.
You can even do a trifecta as part of the Acadia Triple Crown. Some Trekkers finished the first running of the 100 miles so fast, we got special dispensation from Racery.com to host a free Part II and Part III of the Acadia Centennial Trek.
Where in Acadia or the world will you bring your Acadia Centennial Trek Medal? Perhaps Trekker @Mac in Scotland will share a photo on our Facebook page when she receives her medal in the mail!
We’re about to make our first trip of the Centennial year to Acadia, so if you see someone wearing an Acadia Centennial Trek Medal on the trails, be sure to say “Hi!”
We’ve completed the inaugural Acadia Centennial Trek and are into virtual Part II. The upcoming trip to Acadia will allow us to log the first miles actually in the park. Maybe we’ll post some photos of the Acadia Centennial Trek Medal as we’re on the trail.
Happy Trekking to you, wherever in Acadia and the rest of the world the trails may lead you, and however you may define the Acadia Triple Crown!
CAUTION: Don’t necessarily follow the virtual Acadia Centennial Trek route on any of your real-life exploration of Acadia. The route was drawn for the convenience of coming up with exactly 100 miles, covering all 26 peaks of Acadia on Mount Desert Island, some of the Park Loop Road, carriage roads and the routes of Acadia and Fall Half Marathons, and ending at the MDI Marathon finish line. It could be that some of the virtual route doesn’t follow any official trail, or goes up the hardest way, rather than the recommended way, up a particular mountain, or along less-than-scenic campground roads. We’d recommend getting a good topo map and hiking guide, before setting out on the trails. We’re fond of our own guides, of course (see sidebar), but you can search Amazon.com for other books or maps, or try a free app like Chimani. The sponsors of this race assume no liability for accidents happening to, or injuries sustained by, participants in the Trek. The sponsors also do not make any representations as to the conditions of the virtual routes as they apply to the actual routes at Acadia. If you are hiking, running or biking in Acadia National Park as part of the Trek, be sure to follow the rules for park passes, safety, and trail and road usage, available at nps.gov/acad.